Sustaining lean for the long term: 24 years and counting
Learn bow to start your lean journey; hear how to set up an effective pull system; learn to reduce your energy use.
Wiremold began its lean journey in 1991 and the journey continues to this day. Much has been documented about what was done at Wiremold in the 1990s, including its focus on setup reduction and process flow, but what has happened since then? Hear about Wiremold’s recent improvement efforts and how lean has been driving its productivity gains. Learn how it operates its pull system in a low volume, high mix manufacturing plant. Wiremold conducts a bi-weekly lean walkaround looking at progress on cross training, productivity, kaizen event and follow-up work, as well as sustainability efforts. The West Hartford facility is the showcase site for Legrand’s effort in the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Better Plants challenge and has been able to lower its energy costs by 40 percent in the last six years. Hear about its Better Communities program, where Wiremold employees have become very involved with their neighbors. As Legrand continues to grow, its new acquisitions have become the next frontier in its lean journey, and Wiremold has been there to mentor and teach those companies in the same way it has been able to develop and train its future leaders.
Legrand Wiremold, located in West Hartford, Connecticut, began its lean journey in 1991. It is part of Legrand, a world specialist in products and systems for electrical installations and information networks. Legrand is headquartered in Limoges, France, and manufactures in 24 countries with $5.8B in revenue in 2013. The West Hartford facility received the Shingo Prize in 1999. Legrandwiremold.ca
Mike Kijak is the plant manager for Legrand Wiremold’s West Hartford facility. He is responsible for leading a team of 325 employees and spearheads the facility’s initiatives on safety, environmental, quality, delivery and cost, while managing a $25M annual operating budget with $140M in sales. Kijak began his career as a manufacturing engineer for Universal Plastics Corporation before joining Wiremold in 1996. During his time at Wiremold, he worked as a lean facilitator and in numerous leadership roles on the manufacturing floor prior to becoming plant manager in 2008. Kijak holds a BS in mechanical engineering from Union College and an MS in manufacturing engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.